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"Govt. Playing Cat & Mouse Game, Want It To Be Honest With Court": Uttarakhand High Court Raps State Over Conducting Char Dham Yatra

Sparsh Upadhyay
28 Jun 2021 9:21 AM GMT
Govt. Playing Cat & Mouse Game, Want It To Be Honest With Court: Uttarakhand High Court Raps State Over Conducting Char Dham Yatra
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The Uttarakhand High Court today rapped the State Government over its decision to hold Char Dham Yatra in July. The Court orally questioned the State Government as to why the cat and mouse game was being played by the State.The Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan & Justice Alok Kumar Verma observed that since it was hearing the matter (January 2021), the Court was observing...

The Uttarakhand High Court today rapped the State Government over its decision to hold Char Dham Yatra in July. The Court orally questioned the State Government as to why the cat and mouse game was being played by the State.

The Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan & Justice Alok Kumar Verma observed that since it was hearing the matter (January 2021), the Court was observing that the Government had been hiding the details.

"Why don't you come prepared? Incomplete details being presented by the State Government," said the Chief Justice.

The Court also remarked:

"I want my Government to be honest with the Court. Why can not it come out clean? I want to remind the state that High Court is not redundant, we cant be taken lightly by the Government. I can haul up for perjury."

The Uttarakhand High Court last week observed that the COVID pandemic should not be re-invited by holding and permitting large gatherings at religious shrines, and by permitting the Char DhamYatra by the State Government. 

The Bench had asked the Government to review its decision to commence the Char Dham Yatra on July 1, 2021.4

Today, the Court expressed its displeasure with the way the Government had filed an affidavit before it:

"The generosity and the patient of the High Court is being taken for granted by the Government. Earlier, we permitted you thrice to give us the details, yet an incomplete report has been filed by the Government."

Today, the State Government submitted that it had to hold consultation with the Devasthanam Board and that it had decided to hold Char Dham Yatra in July. To this, the Court questioned the State Government that if the Government decides to live stream shrines, who is the Devasthanam board to decide the Government's actions?

"Why you need a consultation with the board? Is the board above you or below you," asked the Court.

In response to this, the Government submitted that the priests are the trouble maker who aren't agreeing to live stream shrines. Amazed by the stand of the state, the Court remarked:

"If you give up to the trouble makers, are you even a Government? The Apex Court has said this time and again that Government can't plead helplessness. The priests should understand that their duty is towards the public at large. If someone disagrees, ask him to visit the hospital and show them pictures of the COVID crises."

"We have to talk to the priests in their language, legal Jargon not needed. Tell them that even Lord Krishna had said that worship Govardhan and then, even if #ndra causes problems, I will be saving you," remarked the Chief Justice.

SOP was not followed during Kumbh

When the Government submitted that it will ensure that SOP is followed, the Court observed that the SOP was not followed during Kumbh, and also, not during Ganga Darshan. "Now we are inviting another catastrophe by holding ChardhamYatra? During Kumbh, we had fake RTPCR reports, the probe is going on," added the Chief Justice.

The Court also remarked:

"The Indians can be very clever when it comes to following our own laws, we are best at violating the laws. State Government has to understand the National psyche. Who is going to keep a check o the fake RT-PCR reports?"

Will you compensate people: Uttarakhand High Court

The Court asked the State Government if it will undertake to compensate the people who die due to COVID if it is found that there was a co-relation with the Chardham yatra? 

Also, during the hearing, a common man appeared before the Court in undervest, to which the Court directed the Registry to block him.

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